The U.S. Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service, today announced that Tyler Pace was sentenced to 90 days incarceration by United States Magistrate Judge Dennis Lee Howell for vandalizing parts of Max Patch, a scenic area in the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina.
"This sentence sends a message to vandals that damaging our public lands will not be tolerated," said United States Attorney Anne Tompkins.
Pace received the sentence during an appearance in U.S. District Court in Asheville on July 9, 2013. Prior to his sentencing hearing, Pace paid restitution for his share of the damage to Max Patch.
Pace was with a group of men who illegally drove vehicles in the Max Patch area in January 2013, causing more than $5,000 of damage to that scenic area. Pace facilitated that damage by tearing down the entrance gate and fence, thereby enabling the other persons to drive their vehicles into the protected area where vehicles are prohibited. Pace is 24 years old and a resident of Canton, North Carolina.
Max Patch sits next to the Tennessee state line in the Harmon Den area and is intersected by the Appalachian Trail. At 4,629 feet this bald offers 360-degree vistas of Mount Mitchell to the east and the Great Smoky Mountains to the southwest. An abundance of ferns and grasses blanket the area making it perfect for picnics.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Richard Edwards.
Hiking in the Smokies